Did you know that smoking can cause damage to your eye sight?!

By editor
July 9, 2015

Smoking cigarettes can contribute to the onset of serious eye diseases that can decrease your vision, and if are not treated properly, can eventually lead to blindness.  Two diseases are Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration.  Both diseases can steal your sight before you know there is a problem, and smoking can intensify the effects of both conditions, as well as speed up the progression.

Glaucoma consists of a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve, the part of the eye that sends the images you see to your brain.  Glaucoma causes your sight to diminish starting with your peripheral vision, and slowly moves into your central vision. Usually it is not noticeable until significant nerve damage has occurred.  Glaucoma can be treated, but it is not a curable disease.  Once vision is lost, the damage is irreversible.  While anyone can develop glaucoma, smoking significantly increases your chances.

Macular degeneration is a disease that deteriorates the central part of the retina, the back portion of the eye that records images and sends them via the optic nerve to the brain.  Macular degeneration affects your central vision first, which makes it difficult to see fine details, and continues to grow until all sight is lost.  Just as glaucoma's effects are not reversible, nor are the effects of macular degeneration.  The risk of getting macular degeneration is tripled if you smoke.

Proper medication and monitoring can slow the progression of these diseases, but don't wait until you notice something is wrong before visiting your doctor.  Make sure to have regular routine eye exams and avoid certain activities, such as smoking, that will increase your risk of the damaging effects of these eye diseases.   Smoking isn't just bad for your health, but for your overall quality of life as well.  Don't let this bad habit rob you of your vision.



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